By Dylan J Stone
Donna-Lee, behind the goalie on the far left, in a team photo ahead of their games at the Dubbo Masters in the Bush.
Broken Hill hockey sensation Donna-Lee Wynen has a busy year ahead of her. She’s not long returned from Dubbo’s Masters in the Bush hockey tournament, and will soon travel to Moonta for the Copper Coast Masters Games, and then to Adelaide for the SA State Trials.
During the St Patrick’s weekend, Donna-Lee played in the Division 2 side, with female teammates from Dubbo, Orange, Wollongong, and Queensland.
“To be a Master, you must be 35 years old and above, and my team ranged from a lady who was 35 and this was her first Masters, to a lady who was about 45, and then the rest of us were between 55 and 72 years old,” Donna-Lee said.
“The two 72 years olds were amazingly fit,” she added.
While the team’s normal training day was on Wednesday, team members held a second training day so Donna-Lee could join them.
“I don’t usually get to attend training, so it was a bonus to get in there and do some training,” Donna-Lee told us.
In her team, Donna-Lee says six players have played in NSW Masters tournaments previously in a competition which is 30 years old.
New age divisions had been introduced each five years or so, meaning the NSW Masters now has a 70+ age division.
Some of Donna-Lee’s teammates have played in the Australian Masters competition too, so there’s a strong backbone to the team.
“This is also the nicest hockey team I have played in during the last couple of years, and because I don’t get the greatest amount of game time, and the game has changed over the years, we’ve had to all learn how things are done. It’s about having fun and playing hockey, it’s not about sheep stations.”
After a St Patrick’s themed BBQ on the Friday night before the Masters, which bought together the 15 teams playing in the tournament, Saturday and Sunday were game days.
The first and second games resulted in nil-all draws, but Donna-Lee’s team lost the third game 4-0. The team then won the fourth game 2-0 and found themselves in the semi-final.
Unfortunately, they went on to lose 2-0 in the semi-final, against the same team they earlier posted a 4-0 loss against. In what was a very hot, 40-degree weekend, Donna-Lee said, “this is start of my 2023 hockey season, and my preparation for future tournaments.”
As she prepares to travel to Moonta and Adelaide in coming weeks, she wants the community to know that “just because something isn’t here, doesn’t mean you can’t do it!”